Memorandum submitted by Status Employment
Status Employment is an independent charity
helping disabled candidates back into employment. We work with
many candidates with SMI and learning disabilities and people
traditionally viewed as further away from the labour market. We
asked our focus group, which represents a cross section of our
candidates the questions, posed. Their responses are in red. We
are currently not a pathway to work area:
What lessons can be learned from the Pathways
to Work pilots in shaping the direction of the reform of incapacity
Good thing helps people to get
Not sure. I was in a state and
wasn't really ready. I would have only gone for a rubbish job.
Physically fit but not really ready.
Depends how ready people are
What are the implications of DWP's proposals for
the new structure of incapacity benefits? Do they address the
complications inherent in the existing incapacity benefits system?
Is a dual benefit the right approach? Could it be improved?
Incentive to find work a good
Still problems with part time
working and retaining benefits.
Still a problem with people
moving p/t to F/t.
Still a problem with the permitted
work earnings limit (at £81 pw).
Will the reforms help to improve work incentives
for sick and disabled people?
People who are benefits need
better access to subsidized courses.
Is it possible to distinguish between those who
are able to return to work and those who cannot?
If you are just dealing with
JCP they don't really recognise people skills.
Who would do the ready for work
What are the implications of the reforms on levels
of fraud and error?
The incentives to pay more for
people who are genuinely want to go back to work are more relevant.
Will the reforms address the main areas of concern
with the current system?
The future rollout of Pathways to Work
How successful have the Pathways
to Work pilots been? Does the current design need adapting for
What are the implications of
a rollout of Pathways on a new system of incapacity benefits?
The experience of sick and disabled people
Including: the experience of
those who have taken part in different aspects of the Pathways
to Work pilots; barriers in accessing support offered through
Pathways; awareness of the support available; and views on further
Are people with different disabilities
and health conditions, in both pilot and non-pilot areas, given
appropriate support by Jobcentre Plus? Is there a tendency to
help those perceived as closer to the labour market?
There seems to be a lack of
follow up for those who are on long term benefits. The job centres
don't seem be encouraging people who are long term and using their
initiative outside the JCP database of jobs.
There seems insufficient information
given to help people back into work eg JCPs don't talk about linking
How will the reforms help those who are not able,
or not yet ready, to work?
The current system does not
allow for people further from the job market to readily access
Monies are only paid on job
outcomes not on progression.
Some people want to have other
courses than the weak ones available via JCP eg Assertiveness.
could this be funded elsewhere.
Voluntary work needs to have
all bars removed.
Can the reformed systems support those with variable
and manageable medical conditions, or those who are able to work
part-time? Are those with mental health difficulties adequately
It works when there is good
support available via CMHTs etc but this can depend on the enthusiasm
of the individual areas.
Does the Condition Management Programme provide
the right level of support?
Has Pathways successfully worked with healthcare
professionals, including GPs, particularly in rehabilitation initiatives
such as the Condition Management Programme? How can healthcare
professionals be further engaged in the reform of the incapacity
Little involvement from GPs
at present. Invoicing for the provision of Care plans is not acceptable.
Is Jobcentre Plus sufficiently resourced to deliver
the Pathways pilots, both in terms of staffing and finances? Are
they equipped to deal with a reform programme for Incapacity Benefit?
You need to have local job centre
to give a better service to clients.
What has been the effect of the DWP efficiencies
It is very hard in London to
get a competent service we have had to delay work with candidates
because a lack of a DEA, and no one seems to stay in their job.
Existing employment initiatives
What has been the effect of
the Pathways pilots on existing programmes and support, such as
the New Deal for Disabled People and Work-Based Learning for Adults?
How do personal advisers work
in collaboration with other Jobcentre Plus staff such as Disability
Employment Advisers and with Job Brokers?
The role of the private and voluntary sectors
Have the private and voluntary
sectors been successfully involved in the Pathways pilots? How
can they be further involved in the reform of incapacity benefits?
Local labour markets
What type of jobs are participants
of Pathways moving into? Are they receiving appropriate in-work
support to enhance job retention?
Are local labour markets able
to provide the jobs needed?
What is the experience of employers?
There is still a lot of negativity
with employers and we are still finding it difficult to access
27 September 2005